Film Review: ‘Badla’ sinks in a quagmire of plot imperfections

Wed, 2019-03-13 14:28

CHENNAI: After a few flops, Sujoy Ghosh directed two engaging
pieces of work — “Kahaani” in 2012 and “Kahaani 2” in
2016. His genre has been thrillers, and he sticks to it in his
latest outing in Scotland, set mostly in Glasgow.

Titled “Badla” or “Revenge,” this is a near-faithful
adaptation of the 2016-17 Spanish murder-mystery,
“Contratiempo,” or “The Invisible Guest,” by Oriol Paulo,
now streaming on Netflix.

Badla is a typical whodunnit with a couple of murders and a
pretty suspect, Naina Sethi, played by Taapsee Pannu, who pairs
with Amitabh Bachchan once again (as they did in
“Pink”). 

Like in “Pink,” Bachchan is a lawyer in “Badla.” As
Badal Gupta, he is tasked with defending Naina, whose  fling
outside her happy marriage has gone horribly wrong. She finds
herself in a hotel room with her lover, Arjun (Tony Luke), killed.
She is arrested for murder, but gets out on bail with the help of
her close lawyer friend, Jimmy Punjabi (Manav Kaul). Woven into
this sticky situation are two more characters, an elderly couple
— Nirmal (Tanveer Ghani) and Rani (Amrita Singh) — whose son
goes missing, and there appears to be a link between this
disappearance and Arjun’s death.

“Badla” looks ethereal, with cinematographer Avik
Mukhopadhyay capturing Scotland in all its splendour — its misty
mornings adding to the air of mystery. But unfortunately, these
picture-postcard images serve as mere embellishments to a plot and
performance that are disappointing. Bachchan brings little novelty
to his role. As for Pannu, she fails to get her act together as a
crime suspect whose position as a celebrated businesswoman and as a
mother as well as a wife is in peril. Not much of an effort appears
to have gone into developing these characters.

And the plot itself has far too many holes and convenient
coincidences. Of course, Ghosh would say that he merely followed
the Spanish original. But what stopped him from reworking the story
and the script to give us a believable narrative?

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Source: FS – All – Interesting – News
Film Review: ‘Badla’ sinks in a quagmire of plot imperfections